The School of Medicine of the then Medical College of Virginia opened on November 5, 1838, as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College. Full-time clinical faculty members were first appointed in 1928, and improved facilities became available between 1936 and 1941 with the completion of the 600-bed West Hospital, A. D. Williams Clinic and Hunton Hall dormitory, located on the current site of the Main Hospital building. Growth in faculty students and facilities continued after World War II, leading to the development of todays academic health center.
Hospital facilities on the MCV Campus include both in-patient and out-patient facilities. MCV Hospitals of the VCU Health System is licensed for 902 beds. In addition, the hospital at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center (600 beds) provides excellent patient care, training and research opportunities for the School of Medicine through its affiliation programs.
In the School of Medicine, advanced degree programs are coordinated through the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, who acts for the dean on all issues related to administration of advanced degree programs. Each advanced-degree program is represented by a faculty member who serves as director for graduate programs. Directors are appointed either by the chair of the department offering graduate degrees or, in the case of interdisciplinary programs, by the dean in consultation with the chairs of participating departments. The directors of graduate programs act on behalf of the programs and hold the responsibility and authority to represent the respective department(s) and their faculty to the school.